Want to Retire Early? This Computer Bot Can Tell You if You’re on Track in Seconds

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Find some wood.

Now knock on it.

Americans’ retirement planning is looking up.

Last year, the average 401(k) account held $97,700, a 9.6% increase from 2016, according to a Fidelity Investments report. The report also discovered that employees are stashing away an average $5,850 a year in their 401(k)s.

Upon seeing these numbers, I did a celebratory dance, but then realized: I haven’t checked on my 401(k) in a hot minute.

I know, I know… but at 25, it’s hard to look that far ahead when you’re just wanting to pay rent on time. Also, admittedly, I had no idea what was even going on in my 401(k).

Am I getting the most bang for my buck? Are my stocks and bonds properly allocated? I’m young; am I taking on the appropriate amount of risk?

How to Take Control of Your 401(k) in Just 5 Minutes

I’d heard about an online service called Blooom that’d translate all that mumbo-jumbo for me. Blooom is an SEC-registered investment advisory firm that optimizes and monitors your 401(k).

Sold.

I entered my name (Carson), my birthday (I’m 25) and the age I hope to retire by (optimistically, 60). Then I dug up my 401(k) account’s email and password.

In seconds, Blooom gives you a free health report for your retirement account.

Here’s what mine revealed:

Blooom analysis screenshot

I’d always heard hidden fees can hurt you, so I was happy to see that part was OK. It also looked like I had a solid mix of stocks and bonds, but my diversification was a bit off.

Blooom put all of this into context and showed me exactly how much I could be missing out on by not properly diversifying my account: $19 a day, or $247,347 by retirement.

Blooom savings screenshot

I decided to opt in. Within a few hours, Blooom had reconfigured my 401(k) without any work from me — except clicking a button. Then it started aggressively handling my investments to help me ideally retire (maybe?) by 60.

It automatically adjusts as you get closer to retirement and also gives you the option to adjust your preferences as needed.

Sticking to the online platform is a lot easier and cheaper than financial advisers, who tend to charge $1,000 to $2,000 a year (about eight times Blooom’s $10 a month), according to the website, Money Under 30

In contrast, Blooom’s ongoing service cost $10 a month, or about 33 cents a day.

(Penny Hoarders get your first month of Blooom free when you use the code PNNYHRD.)

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s a big fan of anything and everything automated. And if she can retire a little early? Even better!

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